Art Lending Library

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Metal is delighted to welcome The Art Lending Library to Peterborough, on its last and only Southern stop in its tour of the UK. Art Lending Library is a project by 
Market Gallery and Walker & Bromwich. Its is an evolving social sculpture housing a diverse collection of artworks that can be enjoyed in your own home.

The Art Lending Library is an ambitious commission by Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich which takes the form of an experimental library and public procession. Originally conceived and curated by Market Gallery for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2012, it provides the unique opportunity for the people of the town or city in which it is exhibited to borrow works of art and enjoy them within their homes, work places and community centres.

The Art Lending Library brings together over 50 works by a diverse range of artists working across the broad spectrum of formats available within contemporary visual arts practice. The project has been made possible through the generosity of participating artists in gifting their works into the care of the library, to be made available to loan for the duration of the exhibition.

The library structure is made up of multi-functional wooden crates. Each crate houses an artwork and is detachable and ready for transport to people’s homes. On returning to the library the crate is re-attached to the body of the library and again operates as a display case. This modular design creates a constantly changing sculptural form that maps the user’s borrowing. As people borrow or return an artwork they will also physically shape the library, becoming a part of an on going social sculpture.

The project stands in resistance to the tide of narrowing access to the arts and education by creating an egalitarian space where art can be borrowed and enjoyed by all sectors of society. Art Lending Library follows the model of a public lending library which members of the public can join free of charge.

Artists that have been exhibited in Art Lending Library include Penkiln Burn, Graham Fagen, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, Mark Vernon, Ellie Harrison, Katie Cuddon, Henna Rikka Halonen, Oliver Braid, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, Mark McGowan, Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope, James McLardy, Stephen Hurrel, Alec Finlay, Laura Eldret, Calum Stirling, Andrew Burton, Laura Aldridge, David Sherry, Chris Biddlecombe, Stuart Murray, David Faithfull, Yu-Chen Wang, Jonathan Owen, Nick Fox, Andros Semieko, Kate V Robertson, Peter Evans, Beagles and Ramsay, Jemima Brown, Ally Wallace, Dean Hughes, Fernando Arias, Salome Oggenfuss, Roos Dijkhuizen, Kevin Hunt, Clara Ursitti, Tessa Lynch, Helen De Main, Sandy Grant, Jasmina Cibic, Pilvi Takala, Razan Akermay, Rachel Maclean, Pester & Rossi, James Stephen Wright, Romany Dear, Jacqueline Donachie and Roddy Buchanan, Tim Savage, Ciara Phillips, Catrin Jeans, Chris Mackenzie, Ross Frew, Ewan Manson, Rachel Barron, Sarah Laing, John Vella, Tom Nolan, Kate Murphy, Deborah Kelly, Michael Needham, Ashley McCormick, Annie O’Donnell, Dryden Goodwin, Gayle Chong Kwan, Iacopo Seri, Juan Pablo Echeverri, Margaret Harrison, Nick Kennedy, Nicky Peacock, Kraig Wilson

Designers Sophie Dyer & Sebastian Gorton Kalvik continue to deliver the design work for Art Lending Library. Our website includes their online map (click here) that shows in real time the journeys the artworks take as they spread throughout the city.

The Art Lending Library will be exhibited at Metal, Chauffeurs Cottage, St Peter’s Road, Peterborough, PE1 1YX.

Opening Times:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am – 5pm

Thursday 10am – 7pm

Saturday 10am – 4pm

Art Lending Library is run by volunteer ‘Librarians’ and ‘Art Handlers’. We are currently seeking more volunteers to help deliver this exciting project. If you would like to get involved contact Ruth Campbell at for more information.

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Art Lending Library is funded by Arts Council England lottery_png_black_15030